Washington Redskins Should Never Have To Change Team Name

Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports

This world is way too sensitive and way too keen on being politically correct, that’s a given. After the Riley Cooper incident, it became even clearer that the sports world had not been spared this incredible oversensitivity. In the end, what became of the Cooper story?

Absolutely nothing. Everyone has forgotten, as it should have been in the first place. He made a slip up and all of a sudden people thought he should be banned from the NFL?

It’s pathetic.

Is it really people’s beliefs that every time the Washington Redskins don their uniforms, they are insulting Native Americans? Is it really believable that the owner of the Redskins means to insult them every Sunday? It is not meant derogatorily and that should be enough, but it never will be.

Now sports anchors everywhere are timid about saying the word “Redskins.”

It’s been their team name since 1933. Prior to that, they had been the “Braves.” Braves is a Native American reference too, it’s just a more positive one.

“Redskin” was never meant in a derogatory fashion from its origin. It’s just how people referred to Native Americans during the early American frontier days. It’s only offensive now because talking heads won’t shut up about it. White people were referred to as ‘white skins’ and Native Americans were referred to as ‘red skins.’ Those were just the terms that were used.

Just like the Riley Cooper story, the only reason that this is so offensive is because people want something to talk about that will draw in viewers.

This world will never be 100% politically correct, so why is it the prerogative of media loons everywhere to make it so? There is far too much diversity in this nation alone, and as such, there will never be a time when everyone refers to every race and every sex by the proper and accepted terminology of the day.

It’s annoying, it’s overdone and it needs to stop.

I’ll end this with a quote by Morgan Freeman. When asked how to get rid of racism, the highly respected actor said,

“Stop talking about it.”

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  • John

    Wow, I don’t know what part of this article was more offensive. The part where it says there is too much diversity in this world or the part where it says we shouldn’t bother worrying about referring to people’s race by proper terminology because you know, there are too many. It’s not that hard to refer to a race by an un-offensive term, if you’ve ever filled out an application or census form you should know this.

    Here are some other parts of the article that I found disturbing.

    “‘Redskin’ was never meant in a derogatory fashion”: It doesn’t matter if it’s not meant to be derogatory, you don’t get to tell another race what they find derogatory or not. I’m sure a lot of white people in Mississippi didn’t find the old Ole Miss mascot Colonel Reb offensive, but the African American community did. Colonel Reb represented a racist and segregated south where African American’s were enslaved and marginalized, and for that reason the mascot was changed.

    “It’s just how people referred to Native Americans during the early American frontier days”: Do you know how people referred to African American’s during “American frontier days”. Saying that the name is okay because it was used as a racial slur over 100 years ago isn’t a good reason to keep the name today.

    “It is not meant derogatorily and that should be enough, but it never will be.”: I don’t think you understand that whether you find it derogatory or not is irrelevant, it’s the opinion of the people who the word is referring to that matters. If someone wanted to go off and name a team a racial slur would it be okay as long as they didn’t intend for it to be interpreted in an offensive manner?

    Comparing Cooper’s slip up to a franchise that has had a derogatory name since 1933 is an awful comparison. Cooper said something he regretted and apologized. Dan Snyder continues to stand behind his team’s name when it is still offending Native Americans and ignores their complaints. There’s a huge difference. Cooper apologized. Snyder hasn’t and won’t.

    The opinions in this article quite frankly are scary and show that we still have a long way to go as a country in terms of acknowledging that all people are created equal.

    • Josh Sippie

      “we shouldn’t bother worrying about referring to people’s race by proper terminology because you know, there are too many” – I never said that. I posed the question of ‘where does it stops?’ Every time I turn around there’s a new term for a race or creed or affiliation because the previous was too offensive. It never ends. Redskin hasn’t been derogatory since 1933, otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to name the team that. At some point along the line of increasing and increasing sensitivity, someone looked at the name and said “hey, that’s offensive too.” Like I said, it doesn’t end, and never will.

      You make a good point that whether I find it offensive or not is irrelevant, that’s true. I guess I didn’t state my point well enough. My point is that changing the name is just a sad excuse to try to make the world more racially conscious. I don’t think changing the name will do any good whatsoever in the long run. Does anyone even remember that the Stanford Cardinals were the Stanford Indians? And how much better off is the Native American community since that name changed? None.

      • John

        First off Stanford isn’t the Cardinals, they are the Cardinal. They were the Cardinals for a period of time in the 1970s. And yes they would have been able to name a team Redskins even if it was racist in the 1930s, because hello 1930s America was a pretty racist place where minorities where marginalized. Negro was the term that African Americans were referred by all the way into the 1960s. You would never call an African American person that now. The good changing the nickname will do in the long run is that Native Americans will no longer have to hear or see what they consider to be a racial epithet on national TV and in newspapers. You wouldn’t know what better of the Native American community would be because you’re not a part of it, so don’t tell them none.

        Your argument is pretty much, “Hey the nickname is racist, so what, what impact will a new name have.” And maybe the world needs to be more racially conscious and realize that this isn’t a term that Native American people like to hear or be referred to as.

        Ray Halbritter, the national representative of the Oneida Indian Nation, challenged anyone who didn’t think the name Redskins was offensive to go look at his grandchildren and say “My goodness these are some cute little Redskins.” If you don’t find the nickname offensive you should do it.

        • Josh Sippie

          “First off Stanford isn’t the Cardinals, they are the Cardinal.” When you nitpick like that, I feel like you’re more intent with starting an argument than with making a point, but hey, whatever your prerogative is.

          No, my argument is not “Hey the nickname is racist, so what, what impact will a new name have,” it’s “Hey, the nickname is only racist because the world today thinks every little thing is racist, and they’re just targeting the newest fad.”

          I highly doubt if Native Americans lose sleep over the Washington Redskins. If the name has been offensive for 70+ years, why do they only bring this stuff up in the past decade? Because everyone is all of a sudden incredibly sensitive to blacks, whites, gays, and all the other deviations from the norm.

          Side note, do you think people afflicted with gigantism are offended by the New York Giants? Because that’s coming soon. I say we just take the English Premier League approach and not have nicknames.

          Hypersensitivity is a nasty thing.

          • John

            “If the name has been offensive for 70+ years, why do they only bring this stuff up in the past decade?”

            It’s not like all of a sudden people are protesting the name, this has been going on for a while. I don’t know why you think this is a flavor of the month thing, maybe your just hearing about it, but it’s not. Native Americans have been protesting this since 1968 when the National Congress of American Indians created a resolution to get rid of the mascot. It continued in 1992 when a Native American woman petitioned the patent and trademark office to have the Redskins name cancelled because it was offensive to her. These are just a few of the events that have occurred to try and remove the racist nickname.

            And while Native American’s raised these concerns and voiced their opinion over the past 50 years some people listened. During the 70s and 80s several athletic institutions changed their nicknames from ones like Redmen, Redskins, and Savages to things that did not offend an entire race.

            Dictionaries have described the word as “offensive” “disparaging” and “insulting”.

            “Hey, the nickname is only racist because the world today thinks every little thing is racist, and they’re just targeting the newest fad.”

            This isn’t a fad. It’s been going on for a while. There just comes a time when you can no longer put up with a high profile team in the NFL having a racist offensive mascot. As I previously showed Native American’s have shown their distaste for the nickname, it’s just now that people are saying “Hey they have a point it is pretty racist.”

            “Side note, do you think people afflicted with gigantism are offended by the New York Giants?”

            Reductio ad Absurdum.

            I will respond to this immature asinine remark though. First off, I don’t think when the Giants sought out to name their team and picked giants they were referring to people afflicted with Gigantism. They were most likely referring to the mythological characters known as giants. In fact the New York Giants (baseball team) were given the nickname because the manager said his players resembled giants. Here’s the Webster dictionary definition for giant, “a legendary creature usually thought of as being an extremely large and powerful person”. Notice how it doesn’t say offensive or derogatory? Whereas Redskins refers to an entire race that is being offended, Giants refers to mythological figures. The condition of Gigantism actually comes from the word giant, as the word giant came first.

          • Josh Sippie

            Hypersensitivity IS a fad, that’s what I’m saying. Political correctness has gone way too far. And yes, I believe it changes constantly. The correct term we should use to refer to a certain race or people is never consistent and whatever term we switch too may be offensive to a new population. I’m not sure how else to state my point. A mascot is such a miniscule thing when compared to the overall problems outlying the Native Americans. It literally fixes nothing.

            As far as the New York Giants are concerned. No, it wasn’t an immature comment, I was just beating my point to death that hypersensitivity has no end. You can find offensiveness in literally any nickname you want. They didn’t intend to offend people with Gigantism? Well that was one of my original points, the Redskins didn’t intend to offend anyone when they originally named the team. Remember how much intentions mean?

            Why don’t the Dallas Cowboys offend Native Americans? Cowboys were horrible to Natives. And the Yankees, from a southern standpoint, refers to white Northerners. Well that could be offensive too. EVERYTHING is offensive to someone, where does it end? Remember the hubbub about the University of Denver Boone’s? How is Daniel Boone offensive? He’s an American hero. He’s offensive because he fought against the Indians in a WAR against the Indians. That’s not offensive, that’s duty.

            It’s all hypersensitivity. You cannot appease everyone and their individual offenses.

          • John

            The fact that this has been going on since the 1960s and people were upset since then makes it clear that this is not a fad. None of your points about this being a fad, which I’ve proven wrong by the way it clearly isn’t a fad, excuse the fact that the word Redskin is seen as a derogatory word by the english dictionary yet is still used by a professional sports team.

            As I previously said your Giants analogy is misguided just like many of the other statements you have made during this back and forth. Giants does not refer to people afflicted with the condition and the word giant came before the condition, so it’s clear that people were called giants for their size and strength before this condition was named. In fact, several people with condition of gigantism have embraced the word that their condition comes from. Jorge Gonzalez was someone with Gigantism and his wrestling name was “El Gigante”. He’s one of many examples. How many Native American’s have embraced the nickname Redskin? None. Why? Because it’s a racial epithet, it has been forever, and this isn’t a fad that just started. This has been going on for the last half century. Even if people were hyper sensitive that wouldn’t excuse a team from having a racial epithet as their nickname.

          • Josh Sippie

            I suppose it’s a bout time I bite the bullet and accept that the Redskin debate may be one of the few of many racial insensitivities that actually has some backing. I still think it’s being blown out of proportion due to the current hypersensitivity and I’m still on the fence about whether or not they should change their name. In my opinion, I feel like the Indians, Chiefs, and Braves are guilty as well, not for racial epithets but for objectifying an entire population, which could be just as offensive. On that note, do you think these other Native American mascots should be changed as well? Because I feel like once you knock off Redskins, the rest will follow have to follow. I remember there being a debate about having the Chiefs change their nickname a few years ago. Hence springs my argument of ‘where does it end?’

  • dreameagle

    you are so ignorant insurance companies should deny you coverage for having a pre-existing condition;

    there is NOTHING, REPEAT, NOTHING complimentary about a term completely based upon racial epithet–there is no country called “Redland” or “Braveland”, these terms refer specifically to skin colour and the original pioneers’ perception that Native Americans’ had a heedless willingness to charge into their flintlocks, muskets and blunderbusses;

    race forward from the 17th to the 20th century and the exact same perception was held first of the Zulu, then the Japanese then in Korea, the Chinese;

    nobody ever says they caught someone “Italian-handed” or that someone is a “British-giver–but substitute “red” and EVERYBODY knows the negative connotation;

    no one would tolerate for a minute calling them the Washington Blackskins or Coonskins or Whiteskins or Yellowskins–and everyone knows George Preston Marshall, even among the bigoted original owners, was the NFL equivalent of Strom Thurman…who really believes he cared about Native American’s dignity?

    why don’t we just call them the Washington Foreskins–that way only the porn industry will be offended (maybe), and the new name will properly reflect the head of the current owner;

    • Josh Sippie

      What good would it do to alleviate the troubles of the Native American population? That’s what I’m saying. Once you change the name what is supposed to happen? And where does it stop. Before long, the Chiefs, the Braves and the Indians will have to change their name too. It’s all about political correctness and at this point, it’s just annoying.

  • Steven Resnick

    Glad RS is continuing hiring writers with no concept of how to write or make sense.

    • Josh Sippie

      Which part doesn’t make sense? And on what basis are you saying I don’t know how to write?

      • Steven Resnick

        In every way

        • Josh Sippie

          That response doesn’t answer the questions. I want specifics. Which part of my article demonstrates that I don’t know how to write?

          • Steven Resnick

            How about gross generalizations and poor research to name a few

          • Josh Sippie

            Okay, school me, what didn’t I research?

            And what sort of gross generalizations? By specifics I meant show me examples.

          • Steven Resnick

            If you’re a good writer or even an average one you already know what those means and can easily find them

          • Josh Sippie

            Well, speaking of gross generalizations, I believe you’re statement “continuing hiring writers with no concept of how to write or make sense” is a gross generalization, not to mention grammatically incorrect.

          • Steven Resnick

            Your belief is inaccurate, also it’s not hard to find a RS article and find lack of research, which shows the incompetency and laughable content and your piece right here is one of them.

          • Josh Sippie

            A belief can’t be inaccurate. That’s what makes it a belief, it can’t be wrong, it can’t be false, it’s my belief. You can disagree all you want but you can’t tell someone else their belief is wrong. I’m more than happy to argue my point or belief vs your point or belief but so far you have yet to make a point or belief.

          • Steven Resnick

            Thanks for continuously proving your own incompetence. A belief cannot be inaccurate you might want to go back to the drawing board and learn the difference between an opinion and a belief.

          • Josh Sippie

            In this situation, my belief is that the Redskins should not have to change their name. You saying that that belief is inaccurate is close-minded and, to borrow a word, ‘incompetent’ since you refuse to back it up or make any shred of a point. Are you going to tell me why you disagree or just keep nitpicking things that are completely unrelated to the post?

          • Josh Sippie

            But in case you were curious, the Dictionary has this definition of belief: something believed; an opinion or conviction:

            Strange. If you don’t believe me, do your own research here: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/belief?s=t